5 Jul 2012

Political scientist says Fiji regime sending message to Fiji TV

1:34 pm on 5 July 2012

A political scientist says by issuing Fiji TV just a six month broadcasting licence, the interim government is sending a clear message that it has ultimate control over the broadcaster.

Fiji TV's 12-year licence was set to expire last weekend but the company got an extention of six months.

Last month, the regime issued a decree that empowers the minister to revoke or vary a television licence if the licensee is found to have breached the Media Code of Ethics.

Earlier in June, Fiji TV was reportedly warned that its licence was at risk for giving coverage to two former prime ministers.

Dr Steven Ratuva, from the Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland, says it's a big concern, especially when the process for constitutional review is happening.

"Six months is really tokenistic and it's really a way in which they are telling them to restrict the way they operate which is really not good intents of providing the bigger political climate for more dialogue in Fiji at this point in time."

Dr Steven Ratuva from Auckland University.